Maserati’s survival strategy for the 1960s centred on establishing the company – which hitherto had mainly concentrated on its Grand Prix and sports car racing activities – as a producer of road cars. The Modena marque’s new era began in 1957 with the launch at the Geneva Salon of the Touring-bodied 3500GT. A luxury ‘2+2’, the 3500GT drew heavily on Maserati’s competition experience, employing a tubular chassis frame and an engine derived from the 350S sports car unit of 1956. Suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while at the back there was a conventional live axle/semi-elliptic arrangement. The 3500GT’s designer was none other than Giulio Alfieri, creator of the immortal Tipo 60/61 ‘Birdcage’ sports-racer and the man responsible for developing the 250F into a World Championship winner. The twin-overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine was a close relative of that used in the 250F and developed around 220bhp initially, later examples producing 235bhp on Lucas mechanical fuel injection. Built initially with drum brakes and four-speed transmission, the 3500GT was progressively updated, gaining five speeds, front disc brakes and, finally, all-disc braking.
The next development of the theme arrived in 1962. Built on the short-wheelbase chassis of the Vignale-bodied 3500GT spyder, the Sebring coupé featured a five-speed gearbox, disc brakes and fuel injection as standard equipment, with automatic transmission, air conditioning and a limited-slip differential available as options.
Last of the classic six-cylinder Maseratis, the Pietro Frua-styled Mistral commenced production in 1963. The 3.7-litre version of the famous long-stroke engine was fitted to most cars, other options being the 3.5-litre or, from 1966, the 4.0-litre unit, all of which came with Lucas fuel injection.
A handsome two-seater on a shortened, square-tube chassis, the Mistral was built in coupé and spyder versions, the former’s opening rear window hatch making it unusually practical for a sports car.
A five-speed gearbox, disc brakes and fuel injection were standard equipment; automatic transmission, air conditioning and a limited-slip differential the options. Production ceased in 1970, by which time a total of 827 coupés and 123 spyders had been built.
First registered in 1967, this particular Mistral has the desirable manual transmission, while the sometimes troublesome Lucas fuel infection has been replaced with a trio of carburettors, a popular modification among owners of these later six-cylinder Maseratis. Offered complete, the car was imported to the UK in 2013 from the sunny Californian climate where it had been dry stored for many years.
With the body in such good condition, it would make this an easy restoration project and with restored 4000 Coupes now in the region of £120,000 this wonderful project is offered with a very realistic reserve.